Software testing: 6 common mistakes that are costing you a fortune –
Software testing is a process that involves the execution of a program or application to discover bugs and verify that the software is suitable to be released and used.
The testing stage also provides crucial information to companies regarding the quality of the software, whether it meets the requirements outlined in the design phase along with the risk associated with implementing the software.
It is an iterative process that requires meticulous strategizing to select the appropriate tests, from an infinite number of possible tests, which are most feasible to conduct according to the available time and resources.
Due to the sensitivity of the testing procedure and the critical information provided by it, even the simplest of mistakes can result in software failure or compromised user experience, causing massive financial losses to the organization that released the software. Following are the most common mistakes made by testers that can be overcome to save reputations and investments.
Failing to communicate (Common mistakes 1)
Communication is an integral part of a software tester’s job description. You have to conduct meetings with system users and product owners to understand the scope of the project and its requirements.
You have to communicate with the developers to outline the discovered defects and errors. You have to collaborate with your team to brainstorm possible test automation systems that need to be executed. Finally, you have to report your progress to the test managers.
If you fail to conduct effective communication with your colleagues, you will not be able to exchange feedback, understand the inherent testing requirements and, deliver to the best of your abilities.
Therefore, apart from being a competent tester, you need to foster two-way communication with all parties involved in the SDLC to avoid problems and deliver a high-quality software.
Missing the testing goal (Common mistakes 2)
Before you begin testing a new feature, you need to understand what you are required to do explicitly and the route you need to take during the planning and testing phase.
To achieve this, you should be forthcoming and always ask relevant questions to your manager or the representative of the developing team to dispel any confusions that you might have about the task at hand. Asking queries and seeking advice helps you learn and grow as a tester. Moreover, if you fail to acknowledge your lack of understanding about the testing procedure that needs to be implemented, you can overlook the bugs in the software, causing irreparable damage to the reputation and financial state of the software vendor.
Oversteping the job description (Common mistakes 3)
Software testing requires thorough scrutiny of the application, feature or product that is being tested to ensure a flawless program that fulfils the developers’ expectations and the customers’ requirement. As a tester, you have your work cut out for you. Therefore, it is recommended to focus all your attention on detecting errors and defects that can be reported to the developer.
Even though it is not uncommon for testers to fix some trivial bugs that repeatedly resurface, the main reason for exercising restraint is that you might fix the apparent bug, but it might cause some regression bugs in another part of the code. In addition, if you fix the bug yourself and do not report it, the developer will not get any feedback about the mistake they made, causing them to repeat the error.
Failing to innovate (Common mistakes 4)
Software testing has seen unprecedented evolution since its inception. From testing with waterfall model to agile testing to integrated quality assurance, the processes have seen continuous improvement. To remain relevant as a tester in this ever-changing technological realm, you need to adapt to the advances and learn the latest testing methods.
New test methods are designed to facilitate testers and expedite their work processes. If you fail to evolve as a software tester, you will not only become a liability to your organization, but also slow down the testing procedure and delay software delivery and release.
Being limited to defined test cases (Common mistakes 5)
Before beginning the testing process, the testing team outlines the test case which includes a fixed set of variables to determine the state of the software under test.
Occasionally, the tester is so busy following the checklist so precisely that they fail to notice the apparent bugs.
While the test case is a highly significant component of testing; as a competent software tester, you need to remain vigilant during the test execution as it can help you discover anomalies in other parts of the software that were not included in a particular test case.
This practice can save you from causing an inadvertent yet catastrophic system failure.
Failure to report an issue to the developers (Common mistakes 6)
Once you have worked as a software tester for a few years and gained some solid work experience, you can intuitively find bugs in the system. Sometimes, the bugs may not be apparent but you may observe a problem in the system, or you may be unsure whether the issue is a bug or malpractice on your part.
In such situations, you should always trust your instincts and report the issue to the developers before it becomes a genuine defect in the product being tested.
The designing stage thrives on continuous feedback so even if the reported issue was not a bug, the developers can gain valuable insights into the software design. Also if the problem was from your end due to misconfigurations of settings, misunderstanding of the test case features, etc.; the developers can notify you of your errors which can help you reevaluate your test case or metrics to deliver high performing software.
To remain abreast with the complex, modern-day software testing methodologies, it is intrinsic for you as a software tester to establish effective communication channels and to evolve with the ongoing innovations in the field of software testing.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on
healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides
her time between travel and writing.
You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia
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